Would you like to help animals more but your list of New Year’s resolutions is already stretching to War and Peace proportions? Not to worry—chances are good that your resolutions can already help animals every day. As PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk illustrates in her book Making Kind Choices, the simple decisions that we make every day can have a huge impact for animals.
Check out these resolutions:
- Go to the gym more: Since you’re already at a place frequented by health-conscious folks, why not drop some free vegetarian/vegan starter kits on the information table or tack them to the bulletin board?
- Spruce up your yard: Bushes with edible berries not only look attractive but also provide a food source for wildlife. So you’ll be filling your yard with flora and fauna.
- Actually use your library card: Most libraries are happy to have donated books, so on your next stop, drop off the animal rights books (like Making Kind Choices!) that you’ve already read.
- Make time for a physical: You’ve probably been putting it off because you don’t want to spend your morning in a waiting room. Other people have, too. So leave your recent issue of Animal Times there and give your fellow procrastinators something enlightening to read.
- Stop smoking: Tobacco companies conduct painful invasive and skin corrosion tests on animals, so kicking this bad habit helps kick animal testing, too.
- Organize your closets: While you’re bagging up tracksuits and old Halloween costumes, throw in your old leather shoes, and when you’re doing some after-Christmas sale shopping, replace them with stylish new nonleather ones.
- Visit your parents more often: Mom always loves something that you made yourself, so take along some vegan baked goods or a meat-free dish when you go see your folks.
- Go to some of the baby showers, housewarming parties, and bridal showers that your Facebook friends invite you to: When the occasion calls for a gift, bring a basket of cruelty-free beauty or baby products, a cookbook of meat-free meals, or a copy of Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven or sponsor an animal at a sanctuary in the name of the new baby or couple.
- Make out a will: While you’re divvying up real estate and china, throw animals a bone and include a donation earmarked for your favorite campaign, such as the doghouse program or the horse-drawn carriage campaign.
- Deep-clean the bathroom: Alongside the expired cold medicine and loose Q-tips, toss out products that were tested on animals and begin the spring with a fresh, new cruelty-free personal-care regimen.
- Establish a plan for emergencies: Plan ahead to keep your animal companions safe in an emergency situation by filling a carrier with leashes, bowls, veterinary records, medicines, a photo of each animal, and a list of hotels that accept animal guests during natural disasters.
- Save money for a big-ticket item or vacation: With milk projected to hit $8 a gallon, just swapping your weekly gallon for rice, almond, or soy milk will save you big bucks and have you well on your way.
- Volunteer some of your time: You can organize or participate in animal rights demonstrations in your community, and animal shelters are typically thrilled to have dedicated volunteers to walk dogs, socialize cats, tidy up, and staff fundraisers and other events.
Have a happy, animal-friendly New Year!